Britain's burglary hotspots
The RM8 postcode covering Dagenham experienced the highest incidence of burglary in 2014, insurance figures have revealed.
Burglaries in the postcode, which also includes the Beacontree and Beacontree Heath areas, accounted for 55 out of every 1,000 contents insurance claims resulting from theft that were analysed by MoneySuperMarket.
The Gants Hill postcode of IG2 in north east London took second place in the comparison website's list of the top 20 burglary hotspots, with a further 12 Greater London postcodes also dominating the unfortunate list.
Postcodes in Manchester and Yorkshire were the only other entries in the top 20.
The Manchester's M21 postcode, which was last year's UK burglary capital and incorporates Chorlton-cum-Hardy and Barlow Moor, fell to third place in 2014, with 51.8 burglaries per 1,000 claims. Following just behind was south Yorkshire's DN2 postcode, spanning Intake, Wheatley and Wheatley-Hills.
At the other end of the spectrum, postcodes covering Dumfries and Lochee in Scotland, Felixstowe in Suffolk and Bangor in North Wales had the lowest recorded rate of burglaries against contents insurance claims in the UK.
One in five Brits has been burgled in the last five years, or knows someone who has, according to a poll by the comparison site. Almost half (46%) of victims were scared they would be burgled again and 43% felt violated.
When asked about the emotional effects of the experience, 52% of those who had been burgled, or knew a burglary victim, said being paranoid about safety at home (27%) had become an issue. Some 14% reported the need to leave lights on at night to feel safe.
However, victims said they improved their home security after their experience with 38% were more conscious about hiding valuables and 27% beefing up overall safety measures.
Mark Castle, chief Executive of the charity Victim Support, said: "As a charity that supports thousands of burglary victims each year, we know how devastating an impact this crime can have and we are here to help.
"Victims tell us that they suffer far more than material loss when their home is burgled – the psychological impact of this crime can be drastic, long lasting and different for everyone."
Information and support can be found at the charity's website victimsupport.org.uk or by calling its helpline on 0808 16 89 111.
MoneySuperMarket's gave the following advice for keeping your home safe:
- Always keep doors and windows locked when you're asleep, or your home is unoccupied
- Install timers on your lights to come on when you are not home
- Ensure items of value are kept away from easy view through windows
- Install a suitable alarm system
- Ensure your home contents insurance is fully up to date and is at a high enough level to cover all your belongings.
Does exactly what it says on the tin: covers the contents of your home for theft and damage and also may insure certain possessions (jewellery, cycles) outside of the home. Things to watch for include the excess and also the maximum payout on individual items. Another grey area is kitchen fittings, as some contents policies say these are not contents but part of the fabric of the property and covered by buildings insurance and some buildings policies don’t cover them because they regard them as contents.